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How to make a toy robot using arts and crafts

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How to make a toy robot using arts and crafts
August 11, 2019 Books 5 comments

11 years of parenting, 4 years of co-op preschool and 6 years of blogging means that my family and I have tried just about a gazillion projects for kids…. okay maybe not a gazillion but certainly in the hundreds! Some projects have made the blog, others are favorites from other bloggers, and some are just simple creative prompts and activities you can set-up in a matter of minutes. Here is a collection of 80+ EASY CREATIVE PROJECTS FOR KIDS we have tried over the years.

This post contains affiliate links to products I love and recommend to my readers.

Pictured Projects are shown in ITALICS

1. Scratch ArtWe have used store bought scratch art paper as well as made our own. This is the easiest method we have used to make scratch art and this method is less messy for more long term art pieces.

2.Chalk Pastels Take a break from crayons and bring out the pastels! I love the soft pastels because you can blend them with your fingertips to create new colors and shading.

3.OilPastels This was my favorite art supply as a child. I love the rich color of oil pastels and the way they glide on paper. For a variation try using light oil pastels on dark colored paper.

4. Paper Scrap Collage Taking a note from Tinkerlab’s Art Tips I have started saving all the paper scraps from projects and cutting them up into pieces for collage projects.

5. Sidewalk Paint We used this simple recipe from Learn Play Imagine. It’s easy to whip up and washes off easily.

6. Pour Painting My daughter loves this process! Without being prompted she tried this on her own using an old wood block we had lying around our art room. Simply pour different colors of tempera paint onto a 3D surface. You can see another version here on rocks.

7. DIY Art Material Chalk Three ingredients: Plaster of Paris, water, and tempera paint.  Make it today: Chalk tutorial

8. Painting Sticks Sticks make a fun canvas for kids and you can display the results in a simple vase. If you have big branch check out how to turn it into a group art project.

9. Make Your Own Stickers The next time you are at the office supply store buy some white sticker dots.  Kids can color them in to create their own stickers.

10. Doodling I admit that a blank sheet of paper often intimidates me. That is why I am a fan of doodling. Doodling is drawing without purpose, drawing without thinking, drawing from the gut. At least that’s how I define it! Encourage your young artist to doodle! Not only is it relaxing but it’s good for the brain!

11. Leaf Collage This was actually a school assignment that I thought was a great idea. Collect leaves and glue them to newspaper. Done!

12. Homemade Stamps One of my fave DIY projects! Homemade stamps are fun to make, fun to use, and I think the results are amazing. For the full tutorial click here: How to Make a Stamp

13. Decorative Tape Collage We tried this activity based on this suggestion from Tinkerlab’s Collage Invitation. I put out some strips of colorful tape, some sticky backed jewels, markers, and paper for my daughter and this is what she came up with.

14. Colored Salt I love making our own art materials at home. We have made colored salt and used it for science and art projects. It’s a great starter project for kids who want to be involved in making their own art materials. For the colored salt tutorial click here.

15. Handprint Art Children love to get their hands covered in paint. Let them! Messy art is important for developing creative confidence. Use washable paint and have a stack of paper handy. Better yet, roll out a long sheet of butcher paper and let a group of kids make a giant handprint mural!

16. Parent Child Art My husband and my daughter enjoy doing this. Take a piece of paper and draw a line down the center. Sit side by side with your child and create drawing or painting using the same materials and a theme. For more art games you can do with friends I highly recommend my friend Jeanette’s book Tangle Art. See her symmetry drawing game in action here.

17. 3D Heart Print our template here and make a colorful 3D heart! We made these in my daughter’s first grade classroom for Valentine’s Day.

18. Painting with FeetAfter doing handprint paintings you may consider letting the kids dip their feet in paint and walk over a long piece of butcher paper! It is a slippery process so be sure to do it on a place they won’t hurt themselves if they fall. You can see it in action here on Homegrown Friends.

19. Homemade Watercolors Another fun homemade art supply to try is homemade watercolors. We used this recipe from the Artful Parent and poured them into some IKEA ice cube trays. My daughter enjoyed the process of both making and using the paint.

20. Shaving Cream Painting This process is messy sensory art fun! Even for grown-ups I might add….Here’s a tutorial on Art Bar to get you started.

21. Easel Art My daughter loves painting at her easel and it shows. When the weather is nice take the easel outside. You can even encourage your young artist to try and paint something they see. Another fun variation is paint with a friend or grandparent!

22. Spin Art This spin art machine is fairly inexpensive and a lot of fun to use, even for the littlest of artist. If you don’t want to buy a machine you can also make spin art using a salad spinner.

23. Ink Blot Color Mixing Both my kids initially said they did not want to try this project and then went on to create multiple “paintings.” If you limit the palette to red, yellow, and blue paint this project doubles as a color mixing lesson. Here is a tutorial with directions on Picklebums.

24. Salt Paintings We used some of our colored salt to make salt paintings. Place a sheet of paper on a cookie sheet. Squeeze glue directly from the bottle onto the paper to “draw” your picture. Dump the excess salt into a bowl. You can add different colors in stages. When finished let dry completely and shake off excess salt.  The more glue you use the better the salt will adhere to it. You can also try a variation using plain salt and adding color via eye droppers. See how to do it here on Meri Cherry.

Pictured Projects are shown in ITALICS

1. Wizard’s Brew We have made this countless times and it always induces lots of squeals and screams of delight! Get the recipe in this post- Item #3.

2. Book RampsBuild ramps out of books! These are great for use with Matchbox cars and remote controlled cars. Enlist your child in the process of making for an easy hands-on engineering project.

3. Lego Building Challenge Lay out a collection of Lego pieces and challenge your child to build something specific from the available parts. This is a much more inventive use of LEGO than simply following premade directions for building.

4. Grass Heads Your very own Chia pet! My kids loved making these! See the full Tutorial on Red Ted Art

5. Gluing WoodI had some scraps of birch wood left over from a  project so my kids put them to use making wood sculptures held together with wood glue. My kids did not believe that they could glue wood together and that it would hold. The furniture designer in me used it as an opportunity to show them how strong the right glue can be!

6. Paper HelicoptersMy kids love these! For the full tutorial click here: Paper Helicopters.

7.Water BeadsThese are a sensory exploration must-have! Just be sure to use them with children who do NOT put things in their mouth as they are a choking hazard. Here are some science activities we have tried with them

  • Place the clear beads in a bowl of water. They will visually disappear….tell your child to feel for them.
  • Place the beads on a paper towel for a few days and watch them shrink back up to their original size.
  • Freeze them! Make a large ice chunk from water and hydrated beads. Then place the icy water bead mix in a bowl or kiddie pool filled with water. The full size water beads will unthaw, shrink, and then grow in size again.

8. DIY Lava Lamp Have you tried making a DIY lava lamp? We used this tutorial to try it. I also tried to make our glow by pointing a laser pen at the bubbling concoction.

9. Clay and Craft Stick Structures It’s not a secret that we like to build with clay. I also love paring it with other materials, in this instance my son used clay and craft sticks to build a tower. Other good parings for clay are bamboo skewers and wood blocks.

10. Sand Rivers This is a classic for me since I personally love to build them! All you need is a sandbox, some digging tools, and access to water. NOTE: This activity is only suitable for sandboxes that drain. Start by digging a long, twisty channel through the sand. For the best river, make it slightly slope from one end to the other. Then dig out “lakes” at each end of the channel. Pack the sides of the channel so they don’t immediately slide inward once water is added. When you’re done creating the river, pull a hose around to the top lake, bury for added effect with the end of the hose pointing into your lake, then turn on a slow trickle of water. Within a few minutes the river will start flowing! Add boats, plastic animals, toy soldiers, bridges, matchbox cars, whatever you can think of!

11. Harvesting Seeds Materials: A variety of dried flowers, bowl or cup, Ziploc baggies, paper towels, stapler

  • Step One Give your child a variety of dried flowers and a bowl or large cup
  • Step Two Show your child how to find seeds in one of the flowers. Start with a flower that has easy to find and distinguish seeds. Some flowers seeds are so tiny your child might not even recognize them so you may need to show them samples of what they are looking for.
  • Step Three Wet a paper towel and place it into the Ziploc baggie. Add several staples across the bottom of the bag about 1 inch from the edge. These will prevent the seeds from falling to the bottom of the baggie.
  • Step Four Ask your child to place the seeds in the bag and press into the paper towel with some spacing in between them.
  • Step Five Seal the bag and tape or hang it in a sunny window or outside in a sunny spot. Your seeds should sprout in a few days!

12. Fort Building Build a fort in your living room! Bring in dining room chairs, chip clips and sheets. Add in a camping light and pillows and you are set! If you love building forts consider buying this awesome fort building kit.

13. Colored Ice Make some colored ice sticks and use them for a variety of science and art activities. See what we did with them on Creative Family Fun

14. Ice Cream in a BagEveryone MUST try this during the summer!

15. Clay BoatsA classic engineering activity, take clay and ask your kids to mold it into mini boats. They will quickly learn what shapes and properties make a boat float! Check out our full tutorial here.

Pictured Projects are shown in ITALICS

1. Washi Bamboo Another stick decorating project we love: pair bamboo and washi tape together. Bamboo has a smooth texture just perfect for tape to adhere to. Add in some paint on top of it for even more color!

2. Flower Lei If you have a camellia bush or other hearty flower growing ion your garden try this: Gently pop out the center of the flower and string it on a piece of string. Add more flowers and tie the ends together to form a simple colorful lei.

3. DIY Wrapping Paper I have stopped buying wrapping paper except for a major holiday like Christmas, and started trying to wrap gifts with supplies we already have at home. I usually wrap a present in plain white butcher paper then ask my children to decorate for a friend of family member. Duct tape, washi tape, glitter, and Sharpies are some of our favorite supplies for creating homemade wrapping paper.

4. Paper Clip Jewelry My daughter loves jewelry but it is often hard for little hands to work with small beads. Why not use paper clips? String colorful vinyl coated paper clips together to make necklaces and bracelets. To make Paper Clip Cuff cut a toilet paper roll in half and then again down the center. Use paper clips to decorate the edges, and securing it to your wrist with a couple rubber bands.

5. Leaf Garland Gather some leaves and make a hole in them using a hole punch. String the leaves onto a long piece of yarn to make a rustic leaf garland. This would also be fun using some decorated leaves.

6.Envelope Book We used astrobrights to make this easy envelope book but you can easily do it with plain white envelopes and decorate them. Skip the cover for an even easier book.

7. Robot Faces Cut some adhesive backed magnetic sheets cut into little pieces and stick them to pom poms and googly eyes. Then stick the pom poms and eyes  to tin cans to make robot faces.

8. Paper Planets A simple paper project with lovely results!

9. Recycled Crayons A classic craft everyone should try. Recycle old crayon bits into your own colorful crayons. This is the method we used:

10. Paper BeadsHave you tried making paper beads? Use different recycled paper for colorful unique beads! Here’s the tutorial we used to make them on Red Ted Art.

11. Toilet Paper Roll People This was a hit at our co-op preschool a few years back. Have children decorate toilet paper rolls as people using googly eyes, fabric scraps, pipe cleaners, and yarn.

12. Decorating Rocks Besides sticks another favorite natural canvas of our is rocks. Chalk markers look amazing on rocks and so does Puffy Paint.

13. Glow Stick Jewelry Don’t toss old glow sticks out! Use them as a base for colorful DIY bracelets. See how we did it here.

14. Paper Dolls We have made many variations of paper dolls over the years. My daughter made a lovely version by cutting paper into blocks shapes for the head, torso, legs and arms and taping the whole thing together. Here is another version of this classic project on Picklebums.

15. Fairy Wands

Materials: Herbs from your garden, sticks, rubber bands, ribbon, burlap, long fabric scraps cut into 3 or 4-foot lengths

  • Step One Wrap a rubber band around the top of your stick.
  • Step Two Place a stem of herbs under the rubber band and wrap the herb around the stick.
  • Step Three Wrap a ribbon around the stick covering the herbs. When you get to the bottom of the stick tie a knot. Add a dab of glue to secure the knot and prevent it from unraveling.
  • Step Four If desired add beads onto the loose ends of ribbon, knot the ribbon around a bead or add glue at the end, and trim ribbon ends as necessary. Tip: Wrap the end of the ribbon with a piece of clear tape so that you can thread it with beads more easily. If your kids love wands and Harry Potter check out Magic Wands on Red Ted Art.

Pictured Projects are shown in ITALICS

1. Nature Mandalas Next time you are outside in the garden, collect a few leaves or flowers and create a mandala! Mandalas are decorative circular designs, they can be drawn or created using found materials. Here is another lovely way to incorporate nature and chalk into mandalas.

2. Bubble Wrap Rug Next time you get a package with bubble wrap SAVE IT! Throw it on the floor, connect separate sheets with duct tape and pop away! What a fun way to spend an hour!

3. Book Writing When my kids are really interested in something, making a book about the topic is great way to encourage creative thinking, even if the topic is Minecraft or Shopkins! Here are 5 easy books kids can make and fill.

4. Lego City One of our favorite all-time activities is to bring out the LEGO bin and create and an enormous Lego City. We typically take over a large table and build the city over the course of a few days. Our last metropolis included an airport, police station, jail, Hello Kitty house, park, and lake. I particularly love the collaborative aspect of this project.

5. Cardboard Box It never fails, put a large cardboard box in front of your kids and walk away. Trust me, they’ll be busy for an hour.

6. Pins and Styrofoam Am I the only parent who lets their kids play with pins? Please tell me I am not alone….My daughter loves pushing pins into pincushions and I happily hand them over to her. We had a bunch of Styrofoam lying around this week and both my kids started pushing my sewing pins into it all on their own. I also gave them some beads to pin through for an extra fine motor skills task. If you are squeamish about using beads golf tees and Styrofoam is another classic fine motor activity. Check it out on Fun A Day.

7. Light Show Grab a handful glow sticks, turn out the lights and swing them around! The light leaves faint traces as your move them. This is a great activity to try this in front of a big mirror and the perfect way to work out some pre bedtime energy!

8. Bead Sorting Kids love to sort small objects! I had a ton of these flat marbles lying around and one day I gave my daughter a baking pan full of them along with 4 mini Ziploc bags. She started filling the bags with gems and giving them out to each family member as presents. I love seeing how kids come up with their own ideas about what to do with simple provocations. For some more creative provocations check out the Creative Table Project on Tinkerlab.

9. Thaumatropes Thaumatropes are a classic optical illusion project for kids! We have a template for simple geometric ones here. I also love this version of the classic project on What Do We Do All Day

10. Shaker Noisemaker Easiest homemade instruments ever: grab a few small Tupperware containers  and some small, noisy objects: think beads, rice, beans, pasta. Place them in the containers and make your own shakers. Ask your child if they can hear the differences in the sounds made by various objects.

11. Balloon Fun Besides a cardboard box, the cheapest toy you can buy for your kids that provides hours of fun has to be balloons. One of the best activities we have done with balloons is to bounce them in a confined space- a long hallway is perfect for this! My daughter also loves to draw faces on them with Sharpies and you can’t go wrong with rubbing them on your hair in front of a mirror!

12. WoodworkingBalsa wood is soft and perfect for kids to work with because it’s really easy to nail into. Here is a simple woodworking starter project: Cut a few pieces of balsa wood into smaller pieces, put them out on a table with some tools, tacks, screws, and small nails and invite your kids over! My kids LOVED this activity to say the least, especially hammering. Make sure your children know how to use the tools safely, and supervise as needed depending in their ages. With proper precaution this simple woodworking activity is a sure hit for kids even as young as 4.

13. Flowers in Contact PaperCut two sheets of clear contact paper. Peel the backing off and stick flower petals to the sheets. When done place the other sheet on top and seal along the edges. Hang this in the window for some colorful flower suncatchers. The Artful Parent has a lovely tutorial for this using a paper plate as a frame. 

14. Confetti RiceColored rice is a wonderful material for sensory play. See a few ways we have used it for play here: Confetti Rice and get the recipe for dying it here on Fun At Home with Kids.

15. Outdoor Bakery My children love “baking with nature.” This usually means making cakes from mud or sand and then decorating them with flowers leaves, even spices from our herb garden. A fun addition is to put sand in and old spice shaker and use it as “sprinkles.” If your kids are really into making mud pies and cakes try setting up a mud kitchen.

16. Tape RoadsWe love using painter’s tape to map out roads on our kitchen floor! It comes off easily when you are done with the project. P.S. If you have a long hallway consider mapping out a bowling lane on the floor. Use wood block as your pins and a soccer ball as your bowl ball.

Pictured Projects are shown in ITALICS

1. Spinfinte TopsThese easy to make tops spin for-ever!

2. Rope Climbers We made these using pre-cute paper doll shapes. For the full instructions head over to Pink Stripey Socks.

3. Cup & Ball GameTransform a yogurt cup and skewer into  game that gets your hand-eye coordination.

4.Tin Can Stilts A classic DIY toy! For the full tutorial click here: Tin Can Stilts.

5. Tube BlocksYes, we did make building blocks from TP rolls!

6.Rattle DrumsMy kids love homemade noisemakers and these were fun to both make and spin.

7. Hexactly Fun If you like block play consider adding this set into your collection. The hexagon shapes offer a new building challenge to kids Hexactly.

8. AquaDoodlesIf you don’t have AquaDoodles run out and buy a set. It’s just a simple cloth board that changes color when wet. But it never ceases to amaze kids (or adults for that matter).

9. Marble Run A favorite project we do every once in a while using items for our recycling bin.

10. Op-Art PinwheelsPrint out our template and make a few colorful pinwheel for your garden!

11. Disco Discovery Bottles

Materials: Empty Water Bottles, Glowsticks, Hot Glue Gun & Glue Sticks (optional), fun stuff to fill the bottles with:  water beads, rice, milk, orange juice, soda, rock salt, salt, flat marbles, tissue paper…

This is a temporary project! These Disco Discovery Bottles will glow for one night only. If you want to keep them longer consider omitting the hot glue step and changing out the glow sticks when you want to use them again. You also may want to consider making these at night to be able to see the effects of the light diffusion right away.

  • Step One Assemble your materials & heat your hot glue gun
  • Step Two Start activating the glow sticks by cracking and shaking them so you get a nice glow. The glow sticks we used came with connecters to make them into bracelets. We connected the loose ends of each stick and then placed several glow bracelets in each bottle.
  • Step Three Pour in the light diffusing materials!
  • Step Four To make these baby safe add a ring of hot glue around the inside edge of the cap and screw it on tight. Add another layer of hot glue around the bottom of the cap to seal it in place.

12.Ball Drop GameA mini DIY version of the classic Kerplunk!

Well this list of projects for kids ought to keep you busy for, oh I don’t know…a YEAR! It certainly has kept our family creating for along time!

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Filed Under: Featured Posts, Home Page Featured, Popular Posts

Why BYOR? 

Kids grow up merged with technology. The BYOR kit is designed to help them understand how it all works by letting them design, build and program their own devices and robots! 

Easy to use, fast results 

The BYOR kit consists of a number of different input and output components. These components can be easily connected to each other via the Easyboard and will respond directly. For example, when a servo motor and a button are connected, the motor will respond to the position of the button. No programming necessary but very much possible!

Build with anything

The components of the kit can be easily attached to freely available materials such as cardboard. Because of this, children are completely free in building their robot or device. It also encourages them to see the value of trash- or scrap-materials. Ideal to combine with lasercutting or 3D-printing!

Program your own robot 

Programming is an increasingly important skill to master these days as thing become increasingly more technological. With BYOR, programming is not necessary but definitely possible. When the standard operation of the Easyboard no longer works for the design, or if new functionality is needed, children can program the Arduino-compatible chip under the Easyboard themselves. This can be done using the accessible Arduino software but also using the visual programming language Scratch or ArduBlockly.

Build more than robots!

Using BYOR, you can build whatever you want! Useful devices for in the home setting, such as a room protector or food dispenser for your pet. But also interactive art or toys. Your imagination is the limit!

Built to build!

The chosen components for BYOR in combination with a thick resin coating ensures the component will work even when handled rough during the creation process!

The different components

There are 4 different input-parts, 4 different output-parts and 1 robot-brain called the Easyboard. These parts are connected using stereo-jack plugs that you might know from your headphones: extreme ease of use! Connect the added powerbank to your Easyboard and start creating.

Let's meet the parts

Different parts do different things but every green output-part can respond to every blue input-part.

See the full manual here.


More examples an inspiration on our instagram page!

Take your creativity to the next level and easily add interaction to your creations with the electronics of BYOR! Being creative with electronics was never this easy!

We would love it if your shared our project with people you think would like it! 
Mention us on twitter, instagram and facebook with @BYORcraft or use the links below.

Risks and challenges

The risks for this project are relatively small as we have already developed the electronic parts to the point where they work well, steady and are durable. We've established the supply chain for the electronics and the electronics have been testen in the field (schools and homes) in the Netherlands. We are using the upcoming time to complete the product line up, setting up the right products and developing additional complimentary material such as the craft packs.
Combining this with the craft pack is were a design challenge comes into play but this is partly tested with the prototypes. Finding the right production partners for these cardboard designs will be a challenge but as there are several production companies that can handle this, it should be a matter of choice.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Buy Kid Made Modern Wooden Robot Craft Kit - Kids Arts & Crafts Toys: Toys hours of exploring their creative side by building and playing with their robots.

Sharing is caring!

We’re having a robot party for our daughter this weekend, so of course, all the chatter this week has been about robots. I decided to put together this easy robot craft, and the kiddo loved it. It’s super easy to do, and you have to admit… it’s pretty cute!


Materials used

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  1. Silver washi tape / sticker tape
  2. Styrofoam ball for the head
  3. Foam dots
  4. Cardboard box – we used a large empty matchbox
  5. TP roll for the feet
  6. Pom poms
  7. Silver chenille sticks & craft sticks
  8. Googly eyes
  9. Pearl dots, bows


  1. Wrap the box, Tp roll & styrofoam in silver tape. Lil P loved doing this as it had a sticky base and all she had to do was wrap it around.
  2. I used the glue gun to stick the legs , head & hands in place.
  3. Lil P then stuck the pompoms, stickers, googly eyes, foam dots, tentacles and bows as she wanted a girl robot.. using sticky craft glue


Do you love robots too?? Make some for your kids.. Here are some of the ideas I loved

13 Robot Crafts Your Kids Will Beg to Make

Easy Robot Vest made via

Play Dress up like a robot with this easy to make Robot vest made with recycled products. I’m sure the kids will have a blast.


Make  a Robot mask using Aluminium foil like meaningfulmama

All you need for this activity is a simple paper bag, covered in foil and adorned with the kid’s own choice of decorations.

All that crafting not your cup of tea, then picklebums has a DIY Robot Printable 

How about letting a robot teach you about gravity & balance??  Buggy and Buddy have a Free printable – Balancing Robot 

Make a Robot wreath like Nestling Designs


Make a Valentine Robot card  like Crafts by amanda

Make adorable Edible marshmallow Robots  idea via dawnypoo

 Put those tin cans to use.. Make a Pen / pencil holder robots like plaidonline


Or keep the kids captivated with is cute Build a robot game 

Roll a dice and pick a body part.. the one who makes A COMPLETE robot wins.

Check out how to build a life-sized magnetic robot from recycled materials!

Free Printable Gliding Robot

Color a free printable robot and turn it into a gliding robot toy. This fun activity combines creativity with scientific thinking- Idea via BuggyandBuddy

and finally –

Robot toilet paper roll craft 

What do you think of all these robot crafts? My kiddo sure loves them all. Let us know which one is your favorite. Here’s an image that’s perfect for pinterest.

Don’t forget to check out our adorable Printable Robot Headbands in our shop 


Filed Under: Craft Ideas, Kindergarten Crafts & Activities, Recycled CraftsTagged With: #GooglyEyes, Kids Crafts to make with foam, PipeCleaner Crafts, Recycled Crafts

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 Use readily available hobby electrical parts and everyday materials to create an art bot that draws by itself! Project and post by Danielle Falk of  Little Ginger Studio.

Have you ever wanted to make your own motorized Scribbling “Art Bot”?

I’ve been itching to create art robots with children for YEARS! It looked like so much fun to make a real moving robot from scratch that can actually draw! And I wasn’t disappointed.

This ended up being one of the most successful (if slightly nerve-racking) art workshops I ever facilitated. Be sure to try this at home, but be prepared for a bit of tweaking and adjusting along the way.

Kids and adults will need to use problem-solving skills for this one. And please don’t worry if you’re not technically inclined, anyone can make an Art Bot!

How to Make Your Own Art Bot


For the mechanism:

For the decorations:

A rewarding activity for all ages

This activity works best for children in mid-elementary school upwards (all the way to high school). We did it with 4-year-olds but they do require more assistance.

All the hard work pays off when the children set their scribbling art bots loose to create fabulous giant collaborative drawings (the noise may not be so rewarding for adults!)

Preparing to make our scribble-bots

After researching many different designs for art bots on the internet, I decided to take the time to buy real electrical components from an electrical hobby supplier so that students could build their robots completely from scratch.

This wasn’t exactly straightforward and involved a bit more research and advice but I settled on using 130 size 3-6V hobby motors which I ordered from a hobby supplier online, as they were powerful and generated a lot of vibration.

Alternatively, you could use a cheap electric toothbrush and either take out the motor or build your robot around the toothbrush. There are many examples online of art bots made from electric toothbrushes & good old fashioned pool noodles and this would be the simplest way to create one.


1. How to make the Art Bot body

  • Measure where to attach the markers (legs) so that they are evenly distributed and your robot can stand up straight. Attach the markers very securely using tape.
  • Ensure the batteries are loaded into the holder correctly (this is VERY important – kids tend to have trouble with this step!)
  • Securely attach the battery holder to the top of the paper cup using hot glue & tape. You may need to balance the holder and motor on top of the cup before attaching.

2. How to prepare the Art Bot motor

  • Securely attach the hobby motor to the top of the paper cup using hot glue and lots of tape. It’s important that there is no wobble as you want vibrations to travel down into the cup to make the legs wobble & draw!
  • Press a piece of cut hot glue stick into the end of the hobby motor for a propeller.
  • Attach the leads to the batteries.

Now for the FUN bit! Turn on the motor and make sure it works (if not, check your batteries are inserted correctly).

3. Decorate the Art Bot

  • Use mini foil pie pans to create the robot heads (with googly eyes & silver bubble wrap “hair” attached). Then loosely tape these over the propellers for safety.
  • Create a breast plate (control panel) using cardboard, then tape it and add it to the front. Arms can be added by poking wire through the paper cup and decorating these.

There really is no limit as to how kids can decorate their Art Bots – as long as the decorations don’t interfere with the propeller.

4. Let your Art Bot loose on some paper!

Check that your Art Bot is working correctly then let it loose on some paper to create awesome swirly designs! If you’re having trouble – don’t freak out! – you may just need to do a little tinkering, perhaps:

  • Tweak the placement of the motor.
  • Make sure your leads are attached correctly.
  • The batteries tend to wriggle out of alignment after the motor runs for a while and may need to be pressed back inside the holder.
  • Be sure your paper surface is really smooth or the robot won’t move.

Take it Further!

I’m already thinking about BIGGER and better Art Bot workshops! I’d like children to have the chance to innovate on their designs by offering more components such as levers and gears. I’d also like to explore other propulsion methods – maybe wound elastic bands or even wind up toys!

Pin It For Later

WATCH THE VIDEO ON THEME: DIY Tin can Robot Toys for kids #8 - Crafts ideas

Do you want to make a wood robot toy? Our boy decided to start their acquaintance by comparing the robot with himself. . Make a robot scrap art project.

80 Easy Creative Projects for Kids

Do you want to make a wood robot toy? Or maybe looking for the first woodworking project for kids? Try this one!

One morning, while our son was still sleeping, a surprise guest climbed onto his windowsill…

“Wake up, Buddy! Look who’s here!”

The previous day, our son saw us working on this wooden robot toy and even participated in his making, but he hadn’t seen him completed, and of course, couldn’t imagine what he was doing on his windowsill. It was a pleasant surprise! Our boy decided to start their acquaintance by comparing the robot with himself. “Robot’s got a smile. I’ve got a smile.” Then he cuddled with the robot and made him do a crazy jiggly dance. In no time, they were best friends.

While the wooden robot lacks realism or fantastic articulation, he definitely possesses all the charm of a toy made with love. Why else would he be wearing his heart where everyone can see it?

The post contains Amazon affiliate links for products we used and liked.

Wood Robot Toy Idea

This is sketch of a wooden robot from the notebook that I kept in the months before my son’s birth. I thought it would be a good toy for him to gnaw on. My son is almost two now. Some projects do take a while.

Don’t take an example from me! It’s a very simple project to make, whether you want to make a toy for a young kid or want an older kid to have their first woodworking experience (and this articulated wooden robots can be the next step). No special tools or materials are required.

Tools & Materials

Toy Robot: Woodworking Process

I love using wooden blocks for making new toys. For one thing, you don’t need to have a lot of tools to work with wooden blocks: everything comes already pre-cut. In addition to that, I often see wooden blocks in thrift stores, so it’s easy to replenish our supply for new projects and give some new life to old toys. As a result, we have a pretty good collection of blocks of different sizes and grains.

For the robot, we took two cuboids and four cubes. If you don’t have wooden blocks, but want to cut them from boards, the dimensions of the cubes were 1.5×1.5×1.5″ (like in this set), and the cuboids were 2.5×2.5×1.5″ (they came from this Melissa & Doug set). The combination of light and dark wood in one project always looks exciting, so I also used a 1/4″ scrap of a cherry board for making a panel on the front of the robot. That little front panel was actually the most complicated part of the whole toy robot project.

Making of the Front Panel

To make the panel, cut a little 1.25×2″ rectangle. Using a ruler and a pencil, mark six buttons on it. With the help of a miniature miter box, make the straight cuts, then widen them with a needle file. Glue the panel to the body block with wood glue and put a weight on it for a while.

For stamping “1, 2, 3” and “A, B, C” on the buttons, I got to finally use this stamp set I got last Christmas. I seemed to have so many ideas when I received it, but it’s the first project I used it for! I also considered writing or woodburning the numbers.

Making of the Toy Robot Body

If you looked on my original sketch, you’d see that I marked the places where I was going to drill holes. I planned to drill holes right through the blocks, run strings through them,then tie knots at the ends, like in the sketch. When I showed my sketch to my husband, he didn’t seem overly fond of knots and suggested using glue for holding the strings in place instead. I decided to trust him, but you can use either idea.

For assembling the robot, drill the holes, using the right size bit to make a snug fit for your string. One hole in each limb block, one hole in a head block, and two holes at each side of the body block to attach the limbs to. We squeezed polyurethane glue in each hole, then pushed the string in with a nail. Polyurethane glue is ideal for this job: not only because it is strong, but because it expands as it dries, securing the string in the hole.

At first, the eyes were supposed to be just holes, drilled inside of each other, like on the picture. Then we decided to plug the inner holes with dowel cutouts, giving our robot dark brown eyes. He was very pleased!

The smile and the heart were woodburned. If you don’t have a woodburner, you can always draw them with a marker. And the robot is ready!

Wood Robot Toy: Final Look

The final result isn’t an elaborate toy, but it has a few things going on for it!

  1. It is very sturdy, so it won’t break easily. (Update: Ours is still just as good as new after five years!)
  2. It has a simple kind of articulation, but it works. The kids like to pretend all kinds of things with this robot. Mostly he is a wiggly dancer.
  3. It’s made of natural materials. First, it will be safe for babies and toddlers to handle and teeth on (under reasonable parental supervision). And one day, when this toy has been loved enough and you no longer need it, it doesn’t have to go to waste-fields. You can use it for a marshmallow roast or compost it like you would any wood. 
  4. And it can be a good first project to try with older kids, introducing the joy of woodworking to them. 

More Robots!

Build articulated wooden robots together with kids!

Play a robot math game.

Make a robot scrap art project.

Thanks for reading!

how to make a toy robot using arts and crafts

Challenge: Create a Robot that Can Draw on Paper. Supplies: ✓ Toy DC motor that will operate at 3 volts (V). Important: Make sure you buy a motor with "leads.

how to make a toy robot using arts and crafts
Written by Tautaxe
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